Episode 59: Lyric Mountain and Woodsong Songwriting Retreats

49m | May 17, 2022

Facebook Live Video from 2022/05/17 - Lyric Mountain and Woodsong Songwriting Retreats

GUEST: Louisa Branscomb

In this episode, you'll learn about the changing environment of songwriting retreats, what motivates someone to bring their talent for writing music to share in an artistic retreat-like environment and the importance of having a mentor guiding your creative efforts.

Joseph is joined by our special guest Louisa Branscomb, an Award-Winning Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, Teacher, Psychologist, Author, and Pioneer Trailblazer in Bluegrass music. She is a Grammy-winning songwriter behind such iconic songs as "Steel Rails," made famous by Allison Krause. Louisa was one of the first females to ever front their own bluegrass band, while also writing original material and playing the banjo.

Louisa has spent the past 33 years combining her talents and passions to lead songwriting events at her artist retreat—first at Woodsong Farm, in north Georgia, and today at Lyric Mountain Songwriter Retreat near Asheville, N.C. Still active as a performer and writer, she has mentored over 1,000 songwriters during the course of her storied career, including several multiple generational students.

Don't miss this episode!


Tune in for this fun conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.




Joseph mentions his sponsor, the Meadowlark Motel and Some upcoming events include Slingshots in the Smokies from May 31st to June 4th. There's also the Plottfest Reunion Weekend from June 3rd to the 5th. He also introduces his guest, Louisa Branscomb, an Award-Winning Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, Teacher, Psychologist, Author, and Pioneer Trailblazer in Bluegrass music. Lousia started writing melodies at the age of four. She says that we hear melodies all around us and especially as a child, we have the freedom to be tuned in. Louisa says that one of the key ingredients of songwriting is putting yourself in someone else's shoes. She also mentions Davy Crockett is one of her favorite songs she would sing as a kid.


At age 11, Louisa won first place at the Alabama Student Music Composition Contest and performed with the Birmingham Symphony in front of a large crowd of about 2,000 people. Louisa says that when you compose, it connects you to other people. Music brings people together. Louisa also talks about going to Randolph College because she loved the Appalachians. After graduating, she ended up in North Carolina. Louisa says that she learned to play bluegrass music during college with a good friend who was a banjo player and fell in love with it. They even created a small band together. She went to N.C to play bluegrass along with the band and had written hundreds of songs by then. Her first chart hit was in Japan and the song was called “Blue Ridge Memories.” Louisa also talks about her reason for pursuing education and psychology. She always had a fascination with people and the human spirit. She also had been on the road for 10 years and felt like she needed a break from it. But she says that being a woman on the road in the 70s was incredible and inspiring. When asked about how she did both play bluegrass and study psychology and education, she says that her heart has always had two directions and an interest in how we transform our lives as well as how we use our creativity. She also mentions being inspired by her father.


Louisa talks about starting the Woodsong Farm Songwriters Retreat in North Georgia in 1987. She admits that many things that she has done in her life are because she is simply drawn to them or moved by some kind of passion about it. Her creativity comes out in nature like being on her farm. Those moments when we have that connection with what makes us most human, that's usually the best place to write from. She wanted to share the farm as a place that nurtured people as writers. Louisa says that songwriters who have been to her retreat on this farm have described it as safe and inspiring with nature all around whenever they would pass by and make their way in. There was an implicit trust that the farm gave and it let them give up their guard and let down their normal defenses that we all have sometimes to protect ourselves from the world. It allowed them to connect with each other and songs. Some of the things that Louisa hopes made her a good teacher as a songwriter instructor are the same ingredients that made her interested in connecting with people through sharing and understanding people's journeys as a psychologist. They also discuss the incredible impact of going to retreats not only for creativity but for life in general. Louisa hasn’t done a retreat again since the pandemic began, but she also speaks about trying to find herself within these times as well. She’ll return to doing the retreats in the Asheville area at Lyric Mountain starting in July. Lousia also sings a beautiful song for us. The process with this song was her asking how can you do justice in a song to everything going on right now? She describes it as images of it all and describes some of the unfortunate events in the world today which has also reminded her about the power of music to transform and heal. The song she sings is called “Gold in the Dark.” You can find out more about Louisa at You can also search for her on Facebook and her email is



00:00:29.880 –> 00:00:41.880 Joseph McElroy: howdy welcome to the gateway to the smokies podcast this podcast is about america’s most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the surrounding towns.

00:00:42.360 –> 00:00:50.880 Joseph McElroy: these areas are filled with ancient natural beauty, a deep-storied history, and rich mountain cultures that we explore with the weekly episodes.

00:00:51.630 –> 00:01:02.640 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklyn McElroy, a man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains. My family has lived in the Great Smokies for over 200 years. My business is in travel, but my heart is in culture.

00:01:03.270 –> 00:01:08.880 Joseph McElroy: Today we are going to talk about Lyric Mountain and Woodsong Songwriting Retreats but first a little bit of.

00:01:12.750 –> 00:01:24.330 Joseph McElroy: Over overhead we got to talk about, first of all, this is my last podcast in New York City I don’t know you know I’ve been doing it between New York and North Carolina but now.

00:01:24.990 –> 00:01:36.750 Joseph McElroy: we’re me and my family we’re all moving down to Western North Carolina and, hopefully, I can maybe have some of the podcasts out in my backyard, which is just a forest so we’ll see.

00:01:37.680 –> 00:01:49.650 Joseph McElroy: But I will talk to you to tell you a little bit about some sponsors First, we want you to imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past, yet modern and vibrant with a “Chic Appalachian” feel.

00:01:50.280 –> 00:02:01.740 Joseph McElroy: A place for adventure and for relaxation. Imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream, grill the catch on a fire, and eat accompanied by fine wine or craft beers.

00:02:02.370 –> 00:02:14.760 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place with old-time music and world cultural sounds. There is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley, NC – your Smoky Mountain Adventures Start with Where You Stay.

00:02:15.630 –> 00:02:21.570 Joseph McElroy: Another sponsor is that’s smokies plural adventure singular calm.

00:02:21.960 –> 00:02:35.160 Joseph McElroy: The Smoky Mountains and surrounding area is a vacation destination for all seasons. Some of the nation’s best hiking trails, waterfalls, outdoor adventures, and family entertainment can be found right here.

00:02:35.760 –> 00:02:43.110 Joseph McElroy: Start your adventure by using to explore all the wonderful features of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

00:02:43.740 –> 00:02:51.660 Joseph McElroy: trails, waterfalls, Cades Cove, and more. Then check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment you and your entire family can enjoy.

00:02:52.020 –> 00:03:07.440 Joseph McElroy: And then, if you have outdoor life events like weddings honeymoons romantic adventures, you can find more information about great places to have that the goal that smokies adventures, be the leading information portal for adventures and experiences in the great smoky mountain.

00:03:08.610 –> 00:03:09.900 Joseph McElroy: there are some events coming up.

00:03:10.950 –> 00:03:20.010 Joseph McElroy: In Maggie Valley, there’s a Maggie Valley festival grounds that hosts world-class entertainment events such as arts, crafts, car shows, and music concerts.

00:03:20.550 –> 00:03:31.230 Joseph McElroy: And so on May 31 to June 4 heaven slingshots into smokies, which is a slingshot or type of motorcycle I think they’re known for the three being three wheelers and.

00:03:31.740 –> 00:03:38.820 Joseph McElroy: A dangerous thing shots in the smokies is, which is known as the super bowl slingshots events will be taking place in Maggie Valley.

00:03:40.470 –> 00:03:51.840 Joseph McElroy: And there’ll be some new editions this year, and there will be some music and shows and food and all sorts of stuff so check it out.

00:03:52.800 –> 00:04:04.890 Joseph McElroy: May 31st through June 4 and at the Meadowlark June 3rd to the 5th we’re having the PlottFest Reunion weekend the Plott dog

00:04:06.120 –> 00:04:27.090 Joseph McElroy: Is the State dog of the North Carolina and the family that brought the dog, to the United States is the Plott family who resided for the most part in Haywood County, and Bob Plott, who is the General Manager of the Meadowlark Smoky Mountain Heritage Center and he is leading a.

00:04:29.160 –> 00:04:37.440 Joseph McElroy: event to bring hot hand aficionados and fans together to celebrate the Plott hound where they’ll have.

00:04:38.790 –> 00:04:50.040 Joseph McElroy: The officially sanctioned UKC bed show other compact competitions are very special warfare is raffled there’ll be Roundtable discussions with.

00:04:50.490 –> 00:05:02.460 Joseph McElroy: The Plott breed icons over history programs will be a free Barbecue dinner and there’ll be a traditional country music concert featuring Will Ritter and Tim McWilliams, on Saturday night.

00:05:03.060 –> 00:05:10.230 Joseph McElroy: This is, this is a huge event last year, everybody loved it, it takes you back in time to hound dogs on the farm.

00:05:11.490 –> 00:05:16.470 Joseph McElroy: And you get to learn a lot about things and get some memorable story because everybody there’s a storyteller.

00:05:17.580 –> 00:05:22.530 Joseph McElroy: Also to Meadowlark and August 12 and 13th, we’re having a Songwriters Camp.

00:05:23.550 –> 00:05:34.590 Joseph McElroy: it’s a songwriters camp in concert with Grammy-winning artist Jim Lauderdale and Charles Humphrey III along with Award-winning artists, such as Darren Nicholson, Clay Mills, and Charles Chamberlain.

00:05:35.130 –> 00:05:39.660 Joseph McElroy: it’s a two-day event of interactive songwriting structure of world-class musicians.

00:05:40.110 –> 00:05:47.070 Joseph McElroy: And a DEMO tape will produce will be produced for each participant and there’ll be a concert of songs from the road band on Friday night.

00:05:47.490 –> 00:05:57.480 Joseph McElroy: And a Barbecue dinner, and also our concert on Saturday night there’s going to be a unique event like no other in space will be limited to ensure individual attention is given to all participants.

00:05:57.960 –> 00:06:08.670 Joseph McElroy: The price of $670 per person includes all the activities and DEMO dates and concerts and Barbecue dinner and then their special pricing for rooms.

00:06:09.000 –> 00:06:20.130 Joseph McElroy: And there’ll be room packages as well call 8289261717 for details and there’s also a limited amount of concert tickets available for the general public and

00:06:20.670 –> 00:06:28.680 Joseph McElroy: Those are available on both Friday and Saturday night then they’re $30 each and again, you can reserve your spot by calling 82896 1717.

00:06:29.970 –> 00:06:37.860 Joseph McElroy: So somebody who knows about songwriting probably should be teaching that songwriting player to care for having a row.

00:06:39.600 –> 00:06:49.680 Joseph McElroy: She is Louisa Branscomb, Alabama native Louisa Branscomb, is a Grammy-award-winning songwriter, musician, bandleader, teacher, psychologist, author,

00:06:49.980 –> 00:06:57.330 Joseph McElroy: and a pioneer trailblazer in the bluegrass music and clinical psychology fields.

00:06:57.870 –> 00:07:11.670 Joseph McElroy: She has spent the past 33 years combining her talents and passions to lead songwriting events at her artist’s retreat—first at Woodsong Farm, in north Georgia, and today at Lyric Mountain Songwriter Retreat near Asheville, North Carolina.

00:07:12.270 –> 00:07:19.200 Joseph McElroy: She has mentored over 1000 songwriters during her storied career. Hello, Louisa.

00:07:19.770 –> 00:07:22.230 Louisa Branscomb: Good evening nice to see you here.

00:07:22.320 –> 00:07:35.760 Joseph McElroy: Yes, good, hey I read somewhere that you started writing melodies at the age of four now I have, I have a daughter about to turn four making up songs is that for 10 well?

00:07:37.500 –> 00:07:51.300 Louisa Branscomb: I think you know we hear melodies all around us, we just don’t call the melodies whether it’s the refrigerator or the birds or and I think you know in kids have the freedom to be tuned in their thinking and melodies from age four yeah I think it’s great.

00:07:52.020 –> 00:07:58.440 Joseph McElroy: it’s great, what do you remember your first saw me from or maybe soon after where you can post something.

00:07:58.920 –> 00:08:03.600 Louisa Branscomb: Yes, I do remember it or what it was about because it’s not very profound.

00:08:04.080 –> 00:08:05.940 Joseph McElroy: that’s all right What was it?

00:08:06.570 –> 00:08:21.270 Louisa Branscomb: It was called the Is she the fishy and the funny thing is, I actually have learned some lessons about songwriting from this song and the song goes is she the fishy couldn’t be much thinner so we had her for our dinner.

00:08:23.910 –> 00:08:30.150 Louisa Branscomb: Now what you don’t want to do is try to pick a word that rhymes just because it rhymes like thinner and dinner

00:08:31.080 –> 00:08:39.630 Louisa Branscomb: But the truth of the matter is, I think one of the key ingredients of songwriting is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

00:08:40.230 –> 00:08:54.030 Louisa Branscomb: In this case, fish and feel compassion and think about what it is like from their point of view so that’s empathy is what that is, and I think whether we’re writing about a tree or a fish, of course, they don’t have shoes.

00:08:55.350 –> 00:09:03.420 Louisa Branscomb: be able to n dwell on a person whose life is different from yours and then write about them.

00:09:04.440 –> 00:09:12.570 Louisa Branscomb: I think teaching our kids to have the freedom to be tuned in and feel compassion for things around them is just a wonderful thing.

00:09:13.110 –> 00:09:28.500 Louisa Branscomb: So that’s what I learned as an adult from is she the fishy it was at a birthday party and the poor fish was caught on a hook and, by the way, that that’s probably a metaphor to caught on the hook because of the first thing that happened a song as a hook.

00:09:30.990 –> 00:09:38.700 Joseph McElroy: Well that’s good that you remember it, you know I remember my first painting, you know I do a little bit of art and yeah I was, I was yeah.

00:09:39.300 –> 00:09:57.240 Joseph McElroy: You don’t want to get yeah and there’s one school of painting trying to evoke emotion right and yeah, and so I probably would have been probably sensors I myself in that school, but my first one was a little bit over the top, it was a flower with the tear on it.

00:10:01.260 –> 00:10:08.610 Louisa Branscomb: it’s over the top, compared to what we seem to value these days in the culture, but it’s really what’s needed, I think, is.

00:10:09.390 –> 00:10:19.830 Louisa Branscomb: You know, and that you know we look back on these stories and they seem kind of embarrassing, but really they have the ingredients for life, the ingredients for arts, job in the world, which is to bring us back.

00:10:20.220 –> 00:10:30.750 Louisa Branscomb: To the flower in the tier which reminds me of you know my favorite song was a Davy Crockett because I mean I thought the idea of a frontier was just awesome and only I thought it was fun tier.

00:10:31.080 –> 00:10:31.410 So.

00:10:32.550 –> 00:10:38.610 Louisa Branscomb: my grandmother saw me playing on the rug and I said I was singing Davy Crockett I just definitely wanted to be a pioneer and.

00:10:39.240 –> 00:10:50.400 Louisa Branscomb: I but I called her in from the kitchen and said what’s a frontier, and she said well like on this rug everything past the edge of the rug that’s the frontier, and I said grandmother it’s fontier, and she said.

00:10:53.130 –> 00:10:57.450 Louisa Branscomb: Oh, I thought you always have fun and but they’re still tears and I’m.

00:10:59.310 –> 00:10:59.760 Joseph McElroy: Good that.

00:11:02.100 –> 00:11:02.820 Joseph McElroy: you’re you.

00:11:03.000 –> 00:11:04.740 Joseph McElroy: You are getting deep early was to.

00:11:06.720 –> 00:11:26.220 Louisa Branscomb: figure it all out, you know I had had an interest in trying to understand, I think the unknown and, and so I don’t know if I was really cut out to be a pioneer or not, but it was my favorite song and you look back on these things and we find you know we were probably right.

00:11:28.440 –> 00:11:36.360 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know it’s funny that you say that you know my two children, I have two and a half year old, but you know actually three now what am I talking about.

00:11:37.590 –> 00:11:45.750 Joseph McElroy: That we named them, you know short interesting names, but there were sort of classic names and we and we started I started seeing a little tune to theirs.

00:11:46.050 –> 00:11:51.600 Joseph McElroy: To their names early on, I still do, to this day, they do it for both of them because I both want to have them.

00:11:51.990 –> 00:12:06.240 Joseph McElroy: You know, to try to figure out what that what it means, and a sense of adventure and flies and it’s to the tune of davy crockett now go Henry Henry Wyatt king of the wild frontier yeah on the Rose Queen of the wild frontier.

00:12:08.370 –> 00:12:10.140 Louisa Branscomb: I’m sure that’ll sink at some level.

00:12:10.200 –> 00:12:12.660 Joseph McElroy: At some point, that sometimes they’ll figure out.

00:12:13.350 –> 00:12:18.510 Louisa Branscomb: it’s going to be Joseph, hope you’ll like the unknown territory that they decide to jump into.

00:12:19.170 –> 00:12:21.420 Joseph McElroy: They are already doing it, let me tell you.

00:12:25.290 –> 00:12:41.040 Joseph McElroy: Well, listen, we have to take a break already it’s been interesting quite so far, and let’s get back into getting into clinical psychology and other things that you’re doing and talk about your course your music all right talk to you soon.

00:14:56.910 –> 00:15:10.740 Joseph McElroy: Howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies podcasts and my guest Louisa Branscomb so Louisa you were born out in the Adirondacks and then you got raised, mostly in Alabama.

00:15:12.120 –> 00:15:24.030 Joseph McElroy: And you were a prodigy at age 11 you won first place at the Alabama student music composition contest and perform with Birmingham simply before an audience of 2000 what was that, like for a young girl.

00:15:24.750 –> 00:15:26.880 Louisa Branscomb: Well, I sort of froze and.

00:15:27.900 –> 00:15:36.810 Louisa Branscomb: White about 65 and the conductor was trying to get me to play louder and I just got quieter and quieter and, at the end, he finished with a big flourish.

00:15:37.740 –> 00:15:46.380 Louisa Branscomb: And I don’t I don’t remember the rest of the day, but actually as I look back, I will you know he started looking back at some point in life, and you realize.

00:15:46.890 –> 00:15:57.150 Louisa Branscomb: There are lessons in the memories that we keep for some reason, I think that that blessing and that was the idea that I might create something that had worth.

00:15:58.470 –> 00:16:09.150 Louisa Branscomb: 11 and it was a tall order for me, I was very shy, but I learned about this thing that when you compose it connects you to other people and.

00:16:09.540 –> 00:16:22.380 Louisa Branscomb: Then they’re all these musicians playing my song and and at some level, I think I must have learned about how music brings people together and that’s been a theme of what i’ve wanted to do in my life, all my life really.

00:16:22.650 –> 00:16:24.120 Joseph McElroy: No, was it classical music.

00:16:24.420 –> 00:16:36.780 Louisa Branscomb: Yes, it would was well, I mean it had a melody I mean i’m very melodic I was making these but it yeah I played it on the piano when it has to be classical music it wasn’t very sophisticated so.

00:16:36.960 –> 00:16:38.400 Joseph McElroy: Well you’re 11 but.

00:16:39.960 –> 00:16:47.460 Joseph McElroy: You had a country I heard you had a country music and singing cousin the Texas named Ben who gave you your first guitar.

00:16:47.880 –> 00:16:51.180 Joseph McElroy: And he was he brought you into the country music world did he.

00:16:51.570 –> 00:17:01.770 Louisa Branscomb: Yes, he said, you can’t play that Mexican guitar with nylon strings anymore, and I got back to college and he had sent me a Martin double I 21 and I still have that guitar I love it.

00:17:02.610 –> 00:17:08.100 Joseph McElroy: And that’s you where at random woman’s calls now it’s known or unknown is Randolph college well why’d you go there.

00:17:08.970 –> 00:17:10.650 Louisa Branscomb: I love the Appalachians.

00:17:12.390 –> 00:17:15.420 Louisa Branscomb: I think, almost and looking back and actually it was yells.

00:17:15.930 –> 00:17:27.030 Louisa Branscomb: topics for tonight that made me recognize that I’ve been like the little pin that you put down on your GPS, you know I’ve been like this little pin that went up and down the Appalachians all my life from.

00:17:27.330 –> 00:17:34.170 Louisa Branscomb: sort of up in Virginia, all the way down to the ridges where the mountain starts in Alabama and right now.

00:17:35.190 –> 00:17:40.620 Louisa Branscomb: Asheville North Carolina and I guess, they must have sort of run through my soul.

00:17:42.270 –> 00:17:45.960 Louisa Branscomb: I wasn’t aware of that, I was sort of everywhere I’ve been it’s been.

00:17:46.890 –> 00:17:47.970 Joseph McElroy: let’s kind of interesting.

00:17:48.570 –> 00:17:59.760 Joseph McElroy: One you got a long way to go, cuz you know if you consider Appalachian you going all the way up with 3000 miles, all the way, but not only that like 100 million years ago there was even longer.

00:18:00.060 –> 00:18:09.330 Joseph McElroy: a trail that broken to in the continent split now the other parts over in Ireland and Scottish there’s an international Appalachian trail so you’ve got a lot of places yet to live.

00:18:12.150 –> 00:18:13.440 Louisa Branscomb: Those delta miles going.

00:18:14.100 –> 00:18:14.970 Joseph McElroy: To get those.

00:18:16.140 –> 00:18:23.130 Joseph McElroy: So, so you said that you ended up in North Carolina after you graduated What did you go to their specifically

00:18:24.150 –> 00:18:24.510 Joseph McElroy: Was it.

00:18:25.170 –> 00:18:25.830 Louisa Branscomb: took me there.

00:18:26.160 –> 00:18:27.330 Joseph McElroy: You guys took you there.

00:18:27.510 –> 00:18:36.510 Louisa Branscomb: I learned to play bluegrass at Randolph macon woman’s college, with a good friend named Sally one guy, who was a great banjo player and.

00:18:37.260 –> 00:18:47.370 Louisa Branscomb: And I just fell in love with it instantly, and so I got a flat pick and got my steel string guitar and we had a little band and but I went to.

00:18:47.940 –> 00:18:59.400 Louisa Branscomb: Winston Salem my first job was there at Bowman Gray school of medicine, but I really went there to play bluegrass it was a wonderful seat of bluegrass music and I’ve kind of found out that each Center of.

00:19:00.870 –> 00:19:15.450 Louisa Branscomb: Of acoustic music has its own personality, so I learned an awful lot in the beginning, from the Winston Salem mount airy hills dil de lacks fancy get players and we play a lot of square dances and that’s how I got my chops.

00:19:15.690 –> 00:19:16.140 Louisa Branscomb: And me.

00:19:16.380 –> 00:19:26.100 Louisa Branscomb: I was just on fire to the right, so I had written I guess about 500 songs that I had been careful with that time and I had written steel rails so that was in 1971.

00:19:26.790 –> 00:19:29.310 Joseph McElroy: what’s your first chart it was actually in Japan right.

00:19:30.390 –> 00:19:33.600 Louisa Branscomb: yeah amazing how much you know about me that I promise.

00:19:34.950 –> 00:19:38.850 Louisa Branscomb: It actually was, and it was a song called Blue Ridge memories, here we go again.

00:19:40.470 –> 00:19:54.000 Louisa Branscomb: It was, I signed that on our first second or first or second boot hill album That was the band I had in Winston Salem with Sam signer and played with throughout the 70s.

00:19:54.750 –> 00:20:00.900 Joseph McElroy: wow so, but you know also, at the same time, you made the decision to start.

00:20:01.950 –> 00:20:08.670 Joseph McElroy: Educational psychology and education, what was what spurred you to do that.

00:20:09.780 –> 00:20:18.300 Louisa Branscomb: Well, I had been on the road playing banjo for 10 years and I decided that I just couldn’t eat McDonald’s hamburgers and.

00:20:20.490 –> 00:20:27.510 Louisa Branscomb: It was true that I felt like I needed a break from the road being a woman and bluegrass in the 70s.

00:20:28.860 –> 00:20:30.420 Louisa Branscomb: It was incredible.

00:20:31.800 –> 00:20:38.400 Louisa Branscomb: edible to be a bluegrass musician during that very creative time and bluegrass moving.

00:20:38.430 –> 00:20:41.940 Joseph McElroy: Forward Sally with the first women’s bluegrass band right.

00:20:42.390 –> 00:20:55.080 Louisa Branscomb: We met, we had one, it certainly one of the first and we bluegrass liberation, we were 1971 and up but regardless of gender, just being in bluegrass in the seven was.

00:20:56.370 –> 00:21:07.320 Louisa Branscomb: It just was so inspiring to be in that shift in the music bringing more younger players on Sam Bush and others at that time, but I also felt like.

00:21:07.830 –> 00:21:16.170 Louisa Branscomb: Being on the road, I needed a little bright to figure out, who I was and I always had a fascination with people and learning about.

00:21:16.470 –> 00:21:26.700 Louisa Branscomb: People and kind of the human spirit, how do we survive at all, and so that’s part of what led me to go back to school and psychology but I kept playing I’ve never stopped performing and being in a band.

00:21:27.450 –> 00:21:34.050 Joseph McElroy: wow so you graduated in 88 with a Ph.D. impressive from Georgia state.

00:21:36.690 –> 00:21:48.360 Joseph McElroy: You know, thanks for that almost immediately started getting the real success we know they’re either huge song or steel rails with Alison Krauss reporting recorded that you wrote it in the 70s, but it became a big hit 91 didn’t.

00:21:49.290 –> 00:21:50.190 Louisa Branscomb: um well i’m.

00:21:51.300 –> 00:22:00.270 Louisa Branscomb: eternally grateful to what Allison did with the song 1991 it had been recorded quite a few times by Van starting with Mel Tillis, believe it or not.

00:22:01.500 –> 00:22:11.400 Louisa Branscomb: Who, I had the great fortune to meet and spend the day with, and he published on my songs he recorded steel rails, but he didn’t release it, although I do have it.

00:22:11.820 –> 00:22:28.410 Louisa Branscomb: And then, it was also recorded by the make peace brothers and by my band boot Hill and Allison heard my version of it and unbeknownst to me recorded it and then I found out one very memorable night at the station neon accidentally that she had this hit on steel, or else.

00:22:28.530 –> 00:22:29.280 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow.

00:22:29.880 –> 00:22:30.990 Joseph McElroy: And what do you think.

00:22:31.020 –> 00:22:36.420 Joseph McElroy: What do you think about her version why became such a hit and how it actually brought so many new people to bloom.

00:22:38.820 –> 00:22:41.490 Louisa Branscomb: In a word, because of Allison.

00:22:43.080 –> 00:22:52.740 Louisa Branscomb: she’s so beyond gifted I don’t think there’s a word for it and Whenever she touches a song, you know it turns to a sole goal or something like that.

00:22:54.390 –> 00:23:05.730 Louisa Branscomb: I’m saying the heart of that song and it’s a very simple song and as someone who can do simple elegance.

00:23:06.120 –> 00:23:23.010 Louisa Branscomb: Is Allison she’s always had been such a master of taste and knowing when not to sing and she was so wise beyond her time so to deliver a song that I always thought was sort of dorky and simple and make it.

00:23:24.300 –> 00:23:40.260 Louisa Branscomb: In her hands so elegant I think that’s a big part of it, but I’ve also you know also thought a lot about why that particular song would appeal to people and I’m still learning what it is that makes a song connect with other people so.

00:23:41.430 –> 00:23:52.890 Louisa Branscomb: And, and that song, for example, I think it’s the images that the song has almost no conversation almost no sentences as you speak to someone it’s just a string of images.

00:23:53.430 –> 00:24:04.710 Louisa Branscomb: And the powerful thing about an image is that it allows people to connect with this energy around the image, if you don’t have an image this is too tired.

00:24:05.400 –> 00:24:14.400 Louisa Branscomb: Or to obscure if you find an image that’s universal law like like the lamp behind me on the mantle, which is an image of that TIM O’Brien used brilliantly.

00:24:15.990 –> 00:24:27.750 Louisa Branscomb: The lamp is burning on the mantle, I believe, is one of his intro lines on a song and it allows people to immediately connect with their emotions and it bypasses the part of the brain that thinks too much.

00:24:29.670 –> 00:24:37.050 Louisa Branscomb: Is married time not like any other art form because it’s married to time it passes tied to time.

00:24:38.190 –> 00:24:52.140 Louisa Branscomb: Or the listener, they have to be able to get your song as it goes by, think of it as a train with windows, they have to get every window, as it goes by, because if they get lost they miss party or song.

00:24:53.430 –> 00:25:02.220 Louisa Branscomb: the beauty of a song is that most images are people can sort of go into their own reverie about what those images mean to them.

00:25:02.820 –> 00:25:19.650 Louisa Branscomb: So I asked Allison what’s what was the image that is what draws drew her to the song since I was the last night, and she said it was the line winding through the trees, like a ribbon and the wind, and so I always learned from my songs by people giving me feedback.

00:25:20.640 –> 00:25:36.330 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s cool so so you mean it’s very interesting me because right about the same time that you, you know you got your Ph.D. in psychology the clinical psychology and you also started your your your first songwriting camp right.

00:25:37.860 –> 00:25:44.340 Joseph McElroy: What was it the what would what song farmer songwriting treat and you want to Georgia.

00:25:45.960 –> 00:25:53.550 Joseph McElroy: And it, you know, then there’s you know there’s a history of musicians getting their PhDs like I think Dr john starling.

00:25:54.480 –> 00:26:06.600 Joseph McElroy: With the classic seldom seen ban gave up touring because you know, he pursued his professional degree more than he was pursuing, but you seem to have managed to.

00:26:07.380 –> 00:26:15.420 Joseph McElroy: work at both of them simultaneously for the next 30 years how did you manage that what made you what why, why did you choose one and how did you manage it.

00:26:16.890 –> 00:26:28.080 Louisa Branscomb: All right, I think that’s a valid question and I’d probably say that my heart had two directions and to leave either one either.

00:26:28.530 –> 00:26:33.690 Louisa Branscomb: This desire to connect with people and learn about the resilience of the human spirit through.

00:26:34.440 –> 00:26:44.040 Louisa Branscomb: Being a clinical psychologist and also very interested in creativity and how people transform life, you know we live it’s hard for everyone so.

00:26:44.760 –> 00:27:02.100 Louisa Branscomb: I think art is one way we transform it and then the other side of me I think music is in my bones, I mean my father took me to blues joint in Birmingham, on the other side of what we used to say, the other side of the tracks where mom didn’t know he was taking me because.

00:27:03.300 –> 00:27:12.810 Louisa Branscomb: he knew a lot of the people in those clubs, and I was so lucky to be touched by the authenticity.

00:27:13.290 –> 00:27:31.470 Louisa Branscomb: Of the blues in the African American people in Birmingham is saying in these dives and my father knew, some of them, because he worked with them, they had TB and some of the illnesses that he treated, but my dad played harmonica he played blues harmonica and he played stride piano.

00:27:31.860 –> 00:27:39.930 Louisa Branscomb: So, and we would walk in, and I was 12 or 13 and they go hey Doc and dad would sit in and play with them and.

00:27:40.950 –> 00:27:53.280 Louisa Branscomb: Again it’s a story I look back on and think I learned something music joins us together it’s much more important how we’re alike in life than how we’re different.

00:27:54.330 –> 00:28:01.890 Louisa Branscomb: and seeing my dad I’m surrounded by so much love and the love that he had for other people through his work.

00:28:03.120 –> 00:28:10.020 Louisa Branscomb: Being a health provider and then through his music, I guess, I tried to carry on and wear both hats myself.

00:28:11.070 –> 00:28:16.890 Joseph McElroy: I think that’s lovely It makes me think that maybe we should have our politicians sing their position to talk about.

00:28:18.390 –> 00:28:21.780 Louisa Branscomb: Why them and we should require them to write a song the right.

00:28:23.190 –> 00:28:23.700 Louisa Branscomb: They are.

00:28:24.570 –> 00:28:29.220 Joseph McElroy: I will have to take another break and we’ll come back we’ll talk about your you’re your songwriting.

00:34:02.130 –> 00:34:13.830 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies Podcast and my guest Louisa Branscomb and I think we have to do everything twice right now right.

00:34:15.330 –> 00:34:21.810 Joseph McElroy: Get commercials tried twice again intros twice what else can we talk about toys but anyway.

00:34:25.170 –> 00:34:37.350 Joseph McElroy: So we’ll move on alright so Louise in 1987 mentioned before you started the wood song farm songwriters retreat in North Georgia.

00:34:38.370 –> 00:34:44.760 Joseph McElroy: So, what was the concept and how did you come to own the farm and or locate your retreats there.

00:34:45.900 –> 00:34:54.930 Louisa Branscomb: um well I probably have to be honest and say that in my life, a lot of times I do things simply because I’m drawn to them are moved by.

00:34:56.640 –> 00:34:57.390 Louisa Branscomb: some kind of.

00:34:58.440 –> 00:35:10.410 Louisa Branscomb: passion about it, but then I don’t figure out the concept until later So when I look back, I know that for me when I’m I do my best, creating when I’m in nature, or at least surrounded by.

00:35:11.370 –> 00:35:22.620 Louisa Branscomb: Nature in a beautiful setting where all of the stress of life seems way far away, and for me, that was my farm and I felt like my farm gave me this connection to my own.

00:35:23.160 –> 00:35:28.590 Louisa Branscomb: Humanity you know when we’re not stressed and we’re not having to be anxious and afraid about things around us.

00:35:29.310 –> 00:35:37.500 Louisa Branscomb: That really helps dissolve a lot of our defenses where we can be in touch with what makes us most human and those are usually.

00:35:37.830 –> 00:35:47.430 Louisa Branscomb: that’s usually the best place to write from, so I think I was probably wanting to share the farm as a place that nurtured people as writers.

00:35:47.730 –> 00:35:54.060 Louisa Branscomb: And there’s something about the past as well, like when we’re connected to two people in the past, who have had a hard-working.

00:35:54.630 –> 00:36:12.990 Louisa Branscomb: work ethic which is true of the Appalachians and true of North Georgia is in the southern tip of the Appalachians with cotton farming that my farm is the cotton farm it was 150 years old and had many relics around me I was only I was the first new families on it so.

00:36:14.460 –> 00:36:23.310 Louisa Branscomb: It gave me a connection deep deeper than my life, you know to other lives, where music was so important, were the two.

00:36:24.000 –> 00:36:35.880 Louisa Branscomb: Girls in the family, saying, listen to the mockingbird and put salt on there, you know they lift salt, out of a spoon because I thought it made me sing better and when they played on my album there was like salt all over the floor.

00:36:37.260 –> 00:36:44.880 Louisa Branscomb: You know these things that brought me back to the essential Appalachian heritage, like a song like listening to a mockingbird.

00:36:46.290 –> 00:36:50.040 Louisa Branscomb: That grounded me and my own creativity so though I’ve tried to be.

00:36:51.720 –> 00:36:55.590 Louisa Branscomb: New or have my own unique way of writing as we all do.

00:36:56.280 –> 00:37:04.440 Louisa Branscomb: I’m very aware that it comes from this thread that goes deep into the heart of the mountains, that I come from, and that that’s a big part of me, so I try to.

00:37:04.740 –> 00:37:16.410 Louisa Branscomb: I try to bring that setting to other writers and that that cultural history we don’t have to talk about you can just look at like the old ironing board in the corner over here, am I going to write why.

00:37:17.640 –> 00:37:20.250 Louisa Branscomb: you’re here it is over there.

00:37:21.270 –> 00:37:24.060 Louisa Branscomb: is a reminder of.

00:37:25.740 –> 00:37:35.910 Louisa Branscomb: When life was not easier, but more transparent, simpler than we all need, I think it helps us to reconnect with ourselves.

00:37:36.810 –> 00:37:49.860 Joseph McElroy: Is that what was the so bringing people into a sort of elemental environment was part of the plan for the songwriting retreat, it was actually a real retreat from everything.

00:37:50.430 –> 00:37:58.290 Louisa Branscomb: A real retreat and then we always had a theme that somehow was designed to make a place that was.

00:37:59.340 –> 00:38:02.880 Louisa Branscomb: nurturing and inspirational for songwriters and that.

00:38:03.540 –> 00:38:09.540 Louisa Branscomb: And I think that the farm itself was the biggest teacher without being spelled out when people.

00:38:09.810 –> 00:38:19.680 Louisa Branscomb: And I’ve had this feedback from songwriters now, for you know 35 years is that when they cross the threshold to the farm they felt in another world that was safe.

00:38:20.070 –> 00:38:30.000 Louisa Branscomb: and inspiring with nature all around and the songs of the birds and the songs of the attractor in the distance and the train and the distance all of these things.

00:38:31.260 –> 00:38:41.400 Louisa Branscomb: Let I think lead people dissolve these normal defenses that we have to protect us from the world, and let us connect more quickly with each other and trust each other.

00:38:42.420 –> 00:38:59.250 Louisa Branscomb: sort of there was just an implicit trust that the farm, I think, gave and that allowed us to be better songwriters and to listen to each other’s work and be inspired because you didn’t have to try to protect yourself a world away from the real world.

00:39:00.150 –> 00:39:04.620 Joseph McElroy: And and did you combine your psychology into your retreats as well.

00:39:05.370 –> 00:39:17.310 Louisa Branscomb: But not in an intentional way again and I think, looking back on some of the things that I hope make me a good teacher as a songwriter instructor.

00:39:18.300 –> 00:39:29.040 Louisa Branscomb: These are the same ingredients that have made me interested in connecting with people through sharing people’s journeys as a psychologist and understanding people’s journeys.

00:39:29.460 –> 00:39:46.320 Louisa Branscomb: I feel more of a facilitator than a teacher and I think that’s when we’re our best is when we’re listening to the other person and trying to understand what they’re trying to say whether it’s a conversation or a song or someone sharing their journey and their hardship.

00:39:47.670 –> 00:39:55.830 Louisa Branscomb: I worked a lot with veterans and I work with veterans at a very young age, because I felt like I was out singing songs about peace.

00:39:56.160 –> 00:40:04.020 Louisa Branscomb: during the Vietnam War and I wasn’t very grown up and I didn’t really realize what the hardship of war was, and so I wanted to pay it.

00:40:04.560 –> 00:40:17.430 Louisa Branscomb: forward by working with veterans as a psychologist and I learned so much about how people transform hardship because veterans know about that better than most of us.

00:40:18.150 –> 00:40:27.690 Louisa Branscomb: And so I was often inspired or I worked with a veteran to help them tell their own story and I’d say hey if you put that in one line.

00:40:28.140 –> 00:40:43.830 Louisa Branscomb: What would that line be and that’s the hook, and any of us, you can do this yourself if I ask you right now, what is one line that captures how you are in this moment hey I’ll put you on the spot, Joseph What would it be, and you know it’s words or less.

00:40:44.280 –> 00:40:45.390 Joseph McElroy: Of a transition.

00:40:46.020 –> 00:40:51.030 Louisa Branscomb: yeah OK so moving on or our transition was a little long for.

00:40:51.690 –> 00:40:53.250 Joseph McElroy: Moving on to the new phase of life.

00:40:53.640 –> 00:41:13.800 Louisa Branscomb: yeah you know new phase of life there you have it, a new phase of the moon, and you know there’s a lot of you know, the eclipses over you phase of life so when you work with those images and but back to something more important, which is as humans, we get so cut off from our humanity.

00:41:14.970 –> 00:41:20.790 Louisa Branscomb: Because we’re so busy trying to protect ourselves from that onslaught of information and.

00:41:21.270 –> 00:41:30.180 Louisa Branscomb: In the hardship around us and all around the world, and so we need these places where we can let down and find our creativity.

00:41:30.750 –> 00:41:47.160 Louisa Branscomb: and find our own humanity and that’s the thread that connects us to some universal experience or image that that’s what a song touches other people with so there’s an intimate connection between being safe and the natural world.

00:41:48.210 –> 00:41:50.160 Louisa Branscomb: I believe, to be creative.

00:41:50.700 –> 00:42:00.030 Joseph McElroy: So you’ve done it several times here you’ve connected music to healing and you know, and you know, and you know.

00:42:02.760 –> 00:42:07.860 Joseph McElroy: Experience internal experience that produces a better world and things like that.

00:42:08.970 –> 00:42:14.760 Joseph McElroy: Do you have at your retreats jeff’s specific examples of where people have been changed?

00:42:16.050 –> 00:42:22.650 Louisa Branscomb: I’ve been very touched by some of the stories that I get on after my retreat.

00:42:24.510 –> 00:42:38.610 Louisa Branscomb: Many times I’ve heard you know I thought I was coming to learn to write songs and I left transform and now, who I am is different, so how I write songs is very different, and that always touches me to here again I.

00:42:39.840 –> 00:42:54.120 Louisa Branscomb: I just try to create a place and but I’m pretty focused on how I do, that I don’t allow like a lot of interference coming in from other things and I try to establish a set of trust.

00:42:54.690 –> 00:43:08.880 Louisa Branscomb: I’ve also heard that people came to I thought to learn about songwriting but they felt healed from something in their life in the process of connecting with what they wanted to say in the song.

00:43:09.390 –> 00:43:09.750 Joseph McElroy: So I.

00:43:09.960 –> 00:43:15.360 Louisa Branscomb: think that I’ve heard a lot that the songs they wrote it my retreat we’re transforming for them.

00:43:15.840 –> 00:43:22.860 Louisa Branscomb: And through this, I’ve learned that not only do we transform life by taking a little piece of it and putting it on a song.

00:43:23.250 –> 00:43:32.250 Louisa Branscomb: But, but our songs transform us and people don’t talk about that much, but I have learned so much by listening to my songs.

00:43:33.060 –> 00:43:45.690 Louisa Branscomb: That might sound kind of like well, are you listening to yourself, not really in my way of thinking, because, again, I think all of this is creating an open channel through something bigger than me to come through.

00:43:46.440 –> 00:43:52.710 Louisa Branscomb: something about that, whatever your spirituality is your collective unconscious or the universal human condition.

00:43:53.130 –> 00:43:54.030 Louisa Branscomb: or odd.

00:43:55.530 –> 00:44:14.220 Louisa Branscomb: When that’s flowing because I’m open enough for the flow then often I’m surprised by what my song says and they make me feel better they make me know myself better, so I think, maybe that’s the thing, people are picking up on when I say that about the week retreats that I have.

00:44:14.910 –> 00:44:24.150 Joseph McElroy: Well, I think that you know, I think that retreats are actually incredibly important for people to take in their life right, especially ones that are dealing around creativity, I mean I’ve had some.

00:44:24.690 –> 00:44:32.310 Joseph McElroy: yeah some fundamental experiences, you know after my second wife died and we’ve been married for 20 years I went to Joseph Campbell’s you know heroes journeys retreat.

00:44:32.760 –> 00:44:39.450 Joseph McElroy: which was about exploring creativity in life, but the one point they had us do a funeral for something we won’t like go.

00:44:40.020 –> 00:44:48.450 Joseph McElroy: And you know I just a year earlier than a funeral from my wife, it was I got to thinking about that, but what I ended up doing a funeral for was.

00:44:49.290 –> 00:45:02.310 Joseph McElroy: For the Mr. and Mrs. Joseph McElroy the identity, the identity that I’d had for 20 years which I hadn’t let go and I needed to say goodbye to properly to move on in my life.

00:45:02.670 –> 00:45:12.180 Joseph McElroy: And it was a transcendent experience, and that was you know, a creative retreat I think what use what you described here can produce that kind of profound effects for people, I believe.

00:45:14.160 –> 00:45:23.010 Louisa Branscomb: You just said it brilliantly and not coincidentally I’m hugely influenced by Joseph Campbell’s model of the hero’s journey, and I believe that.

00:45:23.490 –> 00:45:41.250 Louisa Branscomb: It takes a lot of courage to engage with the one we’re in a huge life transition I’m in one right now, so I don’t feel courageous every day, but I do feel like I’m at that point in the journey when we’re in the dark night of the soul like we’re in the middle of change.

00:45:41.610 –> 00:45:44.250 Louisa Branscomb: And we’re not to the next place yet like.

00:45:44.280 –> 00:45:53.940 Louisa Branscomb: There is a death, there is a death of ourselves, and we don’t get to hold on to you know we’re not like those mountain climbers and they’re in a sling and somebody’s going to.

00:45:54.450 –> 00:46:04.200 Louisa Branscomb: pull the rope it feels like we’re falling off the mountain because we can’t use the same solutions that we had before because we’re changing.

00:46:04.740 –> 00:46:15.390 Louisa Branscomb: And in the model of the hero’s journey, you have to have that freefall and then you find what it is, you need to say and what it is, you need to do in your life.

00:46:15.870 –> 00:46:24.000 Louisa Branscomb: That moves your journey forward, and we have to be willing to take the risk of that or like back to Davy Crockett.

00:46:24.780 –> 00:46:34.830 Louisa Branscomb: One of the wild frontiers of our souls to do that and it’s very uncomfortable and this whole last two and a half years has been very uncomfortable because.

00:46:35.220 –> 00:46:46.890 Louisa Branscomb: I myself find found I couldn’t stay stuck, because how I was in the world was changing too much, and so I had to find a new part of me to be with the new world.

00:46:47.520 –> 00:46:48.120 Joseph McElroy: Where you move.

00:46:48.480 –> 00:46:51.840 Joseph McElroy: To a new is that why you moved here to die schmo with.

00:46:53.370 –> 00:47:08.220 Louisa Branscomb: I’m in part, yes, yes I wanted some different things in my life than I could find in the rural area that I was in Georgia, but I also, I think the pandemic was a big part of it happened after I knew it, so I.

00:47:09.540 –> 00:47:15.540 Louisa Branscomb: have not done a workshop in two years, not just because of the pandemic, but because I didn’t know who I was.

00:47:16.860 –> 00:47:19.050 Louisa Branscomb: And I also haven’t written very many songs so.

00:47:21.300 –> 00:47:33.690 Louisa Branscomb: Actually, it was a song that I wrote about a week ago that I’m kind of clarified to me where I’m at it’s like when you write a song you’re it’s kind of like the guy on the top of the mountain and he’s putting a stake.

00:47:34.170 –> 00:47:37.920 Louisa Branscomb: This is me right now I’m On top of this, a mountain I know who I am.

00:47:38.370 –> 00:47:44.400 Louisa Branscomb: And I’m fascinated by these mountain climbing movies go figure I watch Netflix people climbing mountains, all the time.

00:47:44.940 –> 00:48:02.160 Louisa Branscomb: But um you know because I think I like to understand these amazing things we do as human beings that do bring out our core self and so once I finally had the images come to me in this new song which is the one we talked about me playing.

00:48:03.570 –> 00:48:11.400 Louisa Branscomb: I was ready to do a retreat so after I wrote this song about a week ago and I don’t even know if it’s a good song, yet it might not be but.

00:48:11.970 –> 00:48:25.500 Louisa Branscomb: It clarified it spoke to me and said, this is who you are This is where you are, and now I can authentically bring people back together again and do a new retreat and I know what we’ll be talking about.

00:48:26.160 –> 00:48:37.710 Joseph McElroy: wow was that I mean that I mean I think that’s a good illustration of what artists go through in their life having those moments where they feel.

00:48:38.790 –> 00:48:44.340 Joseph McElroy: lost when they’re able to find their way back again in a different way, so that’s fabulous.

00:48:46.200 –> 00:48:52.680 Joseph McElroy: So you know we’re having a new retreat at what’s I’m sorry I’m losing the name of it right, the second.

00:48:53.910 –> 00:48:54.600 Louisa Branscomb: Mountain.

00:48:54.960 –> 00:48:57.990 Joseph McElroy: Mountain and that’s going to be in the Asheville area.

00:48:58.740 –> 00:49:06.750 Louisa Branscomb: Yes, that’s I’m sitting at lyric mountain right now and we were in spot on our which is close to Asheville and black mountain and.

00:49:07.410 –> 00:49:17.370 Louisa Branscomb: it’s a little mountain farm instead of a big goal experience in Georgia cotton environment is it’s lovely and we’ve been working on the main House here all year and getting it ready so.

00:49:18.480 –> 00:49:20.580 Joseph McElroy: It will be natural I’m gonna have to come out and visit right.

00:49:20.760 –> 00:49:21.000 Okay.

00:49:22.890 –> 00:49:23.400 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

00:49:24.660 –> 00:49:29.130 Joseph McElroy: Bring the kids out there for a little that sort of thing so what’s the first retreat.

00:49:29.850 –> 00:49:47.040 Louisa Branscomb: I’m thinking it that it will be the second weekend in July July 8 weekend and my friends Johnny and Jeanette Williams, who are wonderful Appalachian players are all levels of songs from traditional to cutting-edge.

00:49:48.210 –> 00:49:53.550 Louisa Branscomb: Johnny and Jeanette are from Danville and they’re coming down I’ve been on my retreats for many, many years and.

00:49:54.390 –> 00:50:05.610 Louisa Branscomb: we’ll have a small group and it’ll be an experiential workshop and plenty of time to share songs and enjoy the new setting and maybe the new setting will inspire us and some different ways we’ll probably talk about that too.

00:50:06.480 –> 00:50:08.100 Joseph McElroy: Well that’d be great I mean that.

00:50:10.350 –> 00:50:19.980 Joseph McElroy: I look forward to hearing how that comes out so you know you mentioned that you had a song to sing us sing that song.

00:50:20.670 –> 00:50:22.920 Louisa Branscomb: I think I’d be glad to try it out on you.

00:50:25.980 –> 00:50:30.540 Louisa Branscomb: My process with this song is how do you write.

00:50:32.160 –> 00:50:37.500 Louisa Branscomb: How can you do justice and a song to everything going on right now around us.

00:50:38.940 –> 00:50:50.550 Louisa Branscomb: there’s been where we’re in a new era, I think sometime in the darkness of the pandemic, we all got catapulted into a new era and we’re waking up to.

00:50:51.240 –> 00:50:56.850 Louisa Branscomb: What it even is we don’t even know how to be yet it’s such a profound quantum.

00:50:57.480 –> 00:51:12.960 Louisa Branscomb: change, and so I didn’t know how to write a song capture that and then I realized going back to steel rails it’s just images that we can connect with that make us feel compassion and a sense of meaning and that’s all this song is as a couple of those images, but.

00:51:14.550 –> 00:51:22.470 Louisa Branscomb: One of them came from a show, I saw the iceberg melting another came from the.

00:51:23.580 –> 00:51:31.680 Louisa Branscomb: newscast I saw it on Anderson Cooper you may have seen it on any channel it’s a little girl in Ukraine standing on the table and singing.

00:51:32.520 –> 00:51:41.490 Louisa Branscomb: She was five years old, seven years old, and this bombed-out basement with all these people crowd it in with wounds and bleed.

00:51:42.180 –> 00:51:47.700 Louisa Branscomb: blasted and tattered I’m sure you know a lot of people saw this beautiful news clip.

00:51:48.300 –> 00:52:05.130 Louisa Branscomb: And you saw the spirit of humanity just wake up and everyone in that room when that little girl started singing and one more time, I was reminded about the incredible power of music to transform and heal so that’s in the song too and it’s called gold in the dark

00:52:10.980 –> 00:52:14.760 Louisa Branscomb: I don’t know watch come over me.

00:52:17.820 –> 00:52:20.250 Louisa Branscomb: I just can do nothing right.

00:52:21.750 –> 00:52:28.470 Louisa Branscomb: seems like the world is burning and likewise clock stopped turn and clockwise.

00:52:29.610 –> 00:52:32.400 Louisa Branscomb: we’re all ships in the night.

00:52:34.380 –> 00:52:44.430 Louisa Branscomb: At the edge of the mountain made a wrong, I can count on me your face and the wind on my heart.

00:52:46.230 –> 00:52:56.550 Louisa Branscomb: stairs know when and when the wars one and you and I don’t need one and you’re my gold in the dark.

00:53:00.000 –> 00:53:03.600 Louisa Branscomb: By their last run out of time.

00:53:05.880 –> 00:53:08.670 Louisa Branscomb: She was women for her life.

00:53:10.950 –> 00:53:18.690 Louisa Branscomb: Like every homeless so with nowhere else to go all she needed was.

00:53:20.160 –> 00:53:20.640 Louisa Branscomb: high.

00:53:22.650 –> 00:53:32.760 Louisa Branscomb: At the edge of the mountain I need a rock I can count on need your face at the window of my heart and.

00:53:34.440 –> 00:53:43.980 Louisa Branscomb: there’s no when the wars one year and I don’t need one and your my gold in the dark

00:53:46.860 –> 00:53:49.230 Louisa Branscomb: mom is out of town.

00:53:50.340 –> 00:53:54.450 Louisa Branscomb: Will just call somewhere where everything was hopeless and.

00:53:55.470 –> 00:53:56.490 Louisa Branscomb: So wrong.

00:53:58.860 –> 00:54:08.670 Louisa Branscomb: a seven-year-old girls she stood up on a chair there and efficiently began to sing this song.

00:54:09.720 –> 00:54:20.010 Louisa Branscomb: I’m at the edge of the mountain need a rock I can count on need your face at the window of my heart.

00:54:21.480 –> 00:54:28.230 Louisa Branscomb: Because there’s no when and when this was done and you and I don’t need one and you’re my gold in the dark. you’re my gold in the dark.

00:54:43.200 –> 00:54:48.120 Joseph McElroy: Oh, my goodness that was fantastic oh Thank you so much, that was an honor to have that played on the show.

00:54:49.860 –> 00:54:50.250 Joseph McElroy: You know.

00:54:51.270 –> 00:54:54.240 Joseph McElroy: that’s there’s not really much to say after that.

00:54:57.900 –> 00:55:09.030 Joseph McElroy: it’s been wonderful talking to you, is there a is there ways people can find out more about what you do and information to follow up from this program a website, or something like that.

00:55:09.600 –> 00:55:18.480 Louisa Branscomb: my website is Louisa Branscom online and my Facebook page is of course I’m visible on Facebook and my.

00:55:19.320 –> 00:55:25.410 Louisa Branscomb: email is and i’d love to hear from anyone about anything related to songwriting.

00:55:25.680 –> 00:55:35.760 Louisa Branscomb: we’re a community and not I’ve never met a songwriter I didn’t really like or anyone who’s interested in helping a songwriter and being part of the Community and I sure appreciate what you guys are doing to.

00:55:36.510 –> 00:55:40.050 Joseph McElroy: Thank you it’s we are a Community of art and.

00:55:42.870 –> 00:55:46.110 Joseph McElroy: Culture and it’s sort of special so.

00:55:47.550 –> 00:55:54.390 Joseph McElroy: This is the gateway to the smokies podcast we’re on thesmokiespodcast

00:55:55.800 –> 00:56:05.250 Joseph McElroy: we’re also on talkradio.NYC where the live broadcast goes out to many people in New York City and others around the world.

00:56:06.000 –> 00:56:13.650 Joseph McElroy: The network is interesting Okay, but I recommend going to look at the many other programs, they have they’re all live podcasts.

00:56:13.920 –> 00:56:19.800 Joseph McElroy: ranging from self-help the small business to other travel shows, I have another one on here as well, called wise content creates wealth.

00:56:20.280 –> 00:56:30.240 Joseph McElroy: Which is about marketing and the age of Ai and content and next week we’ll have another next week is a rerun because I am moving next week.

00:56:31.110 –> 00:56:49.410 Joseph McElroy: Now to Asheville North Carolina but then the week after that we’ll have a live program on Tuesdays for a gateway to the smokies from six until 7 pm and again thank you Louisa for being on the show today it’s been a pleasure, I look forward to seeing you again.

Audio Player Image
Gateway to the Smokies